In my opinion, teaching is the perfect profession for the creative mind. Teachers are constantly faced with the challenge of creating new and exciting materials that are interesting and useful. Sometimes this process of creation runs us into challenges, which is exactly what this activity did for me, but in the end, I created an awesome and interested activity sequence that I can use in future semesters. We’ve been working on count and non-count nouns and food vocabulary in my class. This week I introduced how much and how many. I wanted to give my students an interactive way to practice this topic, so I came up with an idea for a modified bingo activity that would get students to search for someone else who had the same amount of something as they did. This, however, proved challenging because I needed to put different amounts on each card, make sure there was a matching amount on another card, but also make sure that the other card didn’t match with every item. It took me a long time to create 14 bingo cards that were carefully crafted with seven pairs of a certain amount for each item randomly mixed on all of the cards. I was excited that this would be a great activity. However, when I finished, I realized that my activity was very limited to a certain class size, and if students were missing that day, it wouldn’t work well.
I had my students do the activity in class to test it out, and luckily I had 13 show up and was able to have my embedded tutor be the 14th person. The activity was great. Everyone was walking around asking and answering questions. They were practicing the target structure and really enjoying it. However, I knew that the bingo cards I had created wouldn’t work if my class had been smaller or larger unless I spent hours more creating the perfect number of bingo cards for that specific class. It’s a great activity, and I wanted it to be ready to use again in future classes, so I started thinking about how I could design it so that I wouldn’t have to create sets of bingo cards for each specific class size.
The solution I finally was able to come up with makes the whole activity even better by adding a pre-activity that gets students to work with quantifiers. For the bingo activity, students will walk around asking how much / many of each item other students have. The key is, they can’t write down a person’s name unless the other person has the same amount of that item. It makes the activity last longer and promotes more practice of the target structure. Below are directions and previews. of the handouts.
This lesson comes great after doing a lesson on count and non-count nouns.
- Print enough bingo sheets and quantifiers handouts for every student in your class.
- Print enough pantry sheets for every student in your class. There are six on a page. So you will need to cut them apart.
- Introduce or review using how much and how many to ask questions about quantity.
- Review quantifiers that can be used with count and non-count nouns.
- Put students into pairs and give each pair a quantifier handout to use as reference and two pantry lists.
- Explain to them that they will work to write down a quantity for the first item only on the lists. Review potential quantifiers and put examples on the board. Explain to them that they need to write the same quantity on both pantry lists for the first item. They can write any quantity they want. For example 4 carrots, 5 bags of carrots, 200 pounds of carrots etc. The more creative they are with numbers, the better the game will be. Encourage them to use a variety of different amounts as they move to other items.
- Once each pair has written a quantity, rotate one of the pantry papers to the next pair. Having the class set up in some sort of circle would be helpful because the papers will need to rotate around to the different pairs. Also, instruct them that one paper they will always keep with them while the others will be rotating past them.
- When they receive a new paper, have them repeat by adding a new quantity to each paper for one specific item.
- Repeat until each item has a quantity.
- Collect these papers and save them for the next activity.
How much / How Many Practice
- Pass out a bingo card to each student.
- Have students work with their partner to complete the questions at the top of the bingo card.
- Review the questions as a whole class to make sure each student has the correct question to ask.
- Shuffle the pantry lists that students created.
- Give one to each student. Tell them that these are the quantity of each item they have. They will use these to answer the questions people ask them.
- Explain to them that their goal is to get a name on each square. The tricky part is, they can only write down someone’s name if they have the same quantity. This really forces them to walk around and ask the questions many times.
- Tell them that they can’t ask the same person more than two questions in a row. They can come back to a person, but only after they’ve talked to someone else. This will prevent them from simply running down the list and completing the activity rapidly.
- Since it will be difficult to find every match, you could designate a certain amount of time the game will be played, and the person with the most names at the end of that time will win.